RAMALLAH, September 12 (JMCC) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
has informed three European diplomats that Palestinians are not planning to seek statehood at the United Nations Security Council, a move certain to be vetoed by the United States, reports Haaretz
Instead, the Palestinian delegation will seek recognition for upgraded status at the UN General Assembly.
Currently, negotiations are underway for a package that would allow all European Union members to vote in favor of the resolution at the UN.
The Europeans are also asking the United States to abstain from the General Assembly vote, in exchange for a Palestinian pledge not to take Israel to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Abbas is expected to meet in Cairo today with Ashton, who is in charge of the EU's foreign policy, and with the foreign ministers of the Arab League Monitoring Committee. During both meetings the diplomatic deal being worked out will be discussed.
Among the elements included in the package being negotiated are the following:
a. The Palestinians will ask the UN General Assembly to upgrade their standing to something similar to that of the Vatican, which has permanent observer status at the international body. This will enable the Palestinians to be full members in a series of international organizations.
b. A large block of the 27 member states of the EU will vote in favor of the resolution, but the resolution will include a clause stating that the vote does not require that each state recognize the Palestinian state on a bilateral level. This is a critical condition for gaining the support of Germany and Italy to the vote. It is assumed that if this is accepted, at least 20 of the 27-member block will vote in favor of the resolution.
c. The Palestinians will commit to resuming negotiations with Israel immediately following the vote at the UN, without any preconditions.
d. The wording of the resolution the Palestinians will bring before the General Assembly will be balanced and will combine elements of the speeches of U.S. President Barack Obama of May 19, 2011, and the conclusion of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council of December 2009. In other words, the negotiations will be held on the basis of the 1967 borders with an exchange of territory and a statement according to which the EU will be ready to recognize the Palestinian state at an appropriate time.